The Internet of Things has been evolving to transform business practice across industries in recent years.
While the concept of connected devices had been floating around in tech circles for decades, the first recognized mention of this fabled ‘Internet of Things’ came in a speech by Kevin Ashton, the Executive Director of Auto-ID Labs at MIT, in 1999.
In his speech, Ashton noted “[humans] are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data they gathered without any help from us, we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss, and cost.”
It’s remarkable how that statement resonates still today, and reflects the fundamental opportunity unlocked by Neural Technologies’ own data-driven portfolio of solutions for IIoT and IoT applications.
The world of connected devices has evolved remarkably since that 1999 speech. Analysis by global market intelligence firm IDC projects there will be 41.6 billion devices generating 79.4 zettabytes of data by 2025. In 2000, the year following Ashton’s seminal speech, the entirety of global internet traffic generated just 0.000903 zettabytes of data.
5G technology is likely to further accelerate this transformation, creating faster, more reliable global data infrastructure to enable connected devices. As we move towards this connected tomorrow, we take a look at 5 IoT innovations set to transform our future.
- Modular City Farms
Smarter, more efficient food production will be an important feature of our future. With the growing pressure of climate change, alongside deepening urbanisation, meeting the future food demands of cities is a pressing global challenge. The United Nations projects that 68% of the global population will live in cities by 2050, with close to 90% of that increase taking place in Africa and Asia.
Modular urban farms monitored and managed by connected IoT devices mean cities can adapt to feed growing populations, creating urban farms which grow up through buildings and across sprawling cityscapes. Modular farms provide a way to rapidly scale up models of production, at the same time reducing the carbon intensity of our food.
- Smarter Logistics
Sustainability through efficiency is a key driver of industrial internet of things (IIoT) capabilities, creating a powerful business and environmental opportunity in the world’s logistics industry. Freight transport consumes around 40% of the energy used in a global transportation sector which contributed approximately one-quarter of total global emissions in 2016.
IoT devices provide a means to connect smart logistics infrastructure that tracks and traces global supply chains. On an individual level that means structured oversight and detailed data insight of individual packages. On an aggregated scale, that means the ability to analyse comprehensive industry data to streamline logistics pathways, enhance global transport routes, and promote more cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly logistics networks for the future.
- Smart Energy
Energy use is fundamental to economic development and ongoing economic opportunity. Integrated IoT infrastructure is helping unlock new potential for an efficient energy ecosystem from generation through to consumption. The global utility IoT industry is expected to grow to a US$15 billion industry by 2024 according to analysis by Global Market Insights.
In traditional power generation, IIoT functionality is helping improve the efficiency and reduce the downtime of assets. In renewable energy, IoT devices are accelerating adoption of new technologies, providing vital data insight into time and capacity of generation that helps system operators match variable supply with growing consumer demand. In consumption, connected smart meters and integrated smart device automation is helping inform consumers and reduce overall consumption. In a battle for a more energy-efficient future, connected IoT devices are a powerful new weapon.
- Automated Vehicles
Self-driving cars are the most eye-catching nexus of IoT and modern innovation. This evolution of the automobile combines connected devices within the car, potentially with integrated smart transport networks, to create a fully-automated vehicle of the future.
While partially-automated vehicles are already on the road today — lane correction and cruise control being common features — the truly automated vehicle has faced some significant challenges in coming to fruition. The critical factor for realisation will be analysing and understanding data streaming in real-time, to create a safe and smooth driving experience. McKinsey estimates that, with the right infrastructure, self-driving cars could account for 50% of total miles driven on US roads by 2050, unlocking US$850bil of economic benefits in the US alone.
- End-to-End Data Insight
Running like a backbone through this IoT evolution is the fundamental need for real-time end-to-end data insight. Whether it’s self-driving cars or connected smart energy infrastructure, increasingly sophisticated IoT integration solutions will be the catalyst for a fully-realized IoT future. Only by gathering, interpreting, understanding, and actioning data, can connected insight unlock real-world results. Machine learning and artificial intelligence platforms will be essential to building that opportunity.
Neural Technologies’ own Optimus platform IoT integration solutions are designed to bridge the gap between collecting and understanding data. Analysts Gartner note that “integration makes independently designed applications and data work well together.” That’s crucial in a world where 41.6 billion devices by countless manufacturers are expected by 2025.
The digital integration and orchestration capabilities of the Optimus platform have seen it receive the Outstanding Innovation Award at the TM Forum Catalyst Project for three years in a row. Open API integration with Optimus mediation delivered outstanding performance in use-cases that included IoT integration of multiple protocols and APIs for effective device integration, alongside projects on digital twin modelling, and 5G Slice bandwidth allocation.
Optimus IoT integration offers a customizable mediation platform that integrates IoT device data with downstream applications, ensuring that connected insight can truly be leveraged to support connected real-time opportunities. That creates a flexible, scalable solution that’s fit for a rapidly evolving connected world.
If you want to find out more about IoT integration services, connect with Neural Technologies via our website at NeuralT.com, or by contacting our sales representatives